Last weekend, the Cape Flats endured one of its bloodiest weekends when 13 people were murdered in 72 hours.
The bloodshed began on Friday night when six women were gunned down in Philippi East. On Saturday, two more people were killed in Hanover Park.
Later that night, it was confirmed that five more people had been murdered in a Philippi shebeen.
Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that the SAPS and SANDF would be deployed in crime-ridden communities in Cape Town like Philippi East.
But while community members from Philippi East are outraged over the latest spate of murders, many of the sample of Joburg residents that The Saturday Star spoke to this week were not aware of the horrific shootings.
Salanee Rajoo, 25
I’m constantly checking the news on online platforms but I’m not aware of the murders that took place last weekend. I don’t know whether it’s because life consumes you and you don’t read up enough, or its not being facilitated better on news forums. These murders are probably gang- related. The government has tried to clean up as much as they can in Cape Town and I don’t think this has been praised as much as it should be.
I think if these murders took place in an affluent suburb like Sandton, there would be far more of an outcry. We tend to focus more on the richer areas and not the poor areas, because we feel like that demographic is not important enough, which is really bad.
Moseki Modibedi, 36
I’m aware of those terrible murders. I have been following the story in the news. As shocking as these murders are, it’s nothing new. I mean, we have gone numb in this country. Cape Flats drug-related crimes have been happening for years now. If you check the crime stats from the last two or three years, Western Cape is still the top because of the high number of gang-related murders.
I think if these murders had occurred in a more affluent suburb, there would be more noise about it. It’s very unfair; it should cut across the whole society. We all live in one society and it affects all of us. Crime affects all of us whether you’re rich poor or middle class. So it’s a shame that when it happens in poor communities it doesn’t matter as much.
But people are also ignorant. You could probably go to affluent suburbs like Bishops Court in Cape Town and other affluent areas, and people won’t even know that happened - even though it has happened right on their doorstep - because it doesn’t matter to them, and that’s a shame.
Trevor Mbonambi, 26
I am very well aware of the murders and have been following it in the news. I read the other day that Bheki Cele was bringing in the army to assist with the whole situation. It’s quite sad what’s happened. It’s so sad to know that people will go to such lengths. The crime rates the drug war is something that Cape Town has been battling with for years.
I think it’s a good idea that the army has been brought in to help control the whole situation. I think there hasn’t been much news coverage about it and only selected media channels and newspapers have covered it. All others tend to focus more on politicians and corruption, and other stuff rather than people getting killed in areas like the Cape flats.
Aadil Hajee 27
If it wasn’t for the news this morning, I wouldn’t have known about the murders, to be honest. The violence in the Cape Flats is getting out of hand.
Things have just gone from bad to worse in my opinion. It feels like now we are hearing about a lot more violent murders in Cape Town. Because we live in Joburg, we’re isolated and don’t really worry about it. But if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.
Hamzah Latha, 23
I had no idea that so many people were murdered in one weekend. This is the first time I’m hearing it. I have come across a few news articles, but I haven’t really paid full attention to any of it.
What has happened is horrific, but violent crimes are on the increase all over in South Africa. I think because the murders took place quite a distance away from us, that’s the reason why we don’t know that much about it.
Greg Abbott, 28
I’m not aware at all of these murders. I tend to shy away from the news because of all the bad stuff that happens, so I tend to only keep up with the latest tech trends, and that’s it.
It’s terrible, what’s happening in Cape Town, and something should be done about it, but I don’t know how they are going to solve the issue. Perhaps there would be much more media coverage if this had occurred in an influential suburb. But that being said, I have no idea how the media works.
Khanyisile Khoza, 29
I haven’t heard about the murders as yet. Either there isn’t much media coverage or I have genuinely missed it, but I haven’t heard anything.
I definitely think it would have been made a bigger deal if these murders occurred in an affluent suburb. The fortunate ones are given more preference than the unfortunate ones in this country, and that’s really sad.
Bel Louren, 40
I have no clue about these murders. I don’t own a TV, I don’t read any newspapers. I pretty much live in my own bubble, so I have no idea about the murders.
It sounds terrible, but I really don’t know about how bad the situation is in Cape Town.